Education

The Centrists’ Take on the Speech: Pretty Darn Good
September 10, 2009

The moderates and centrists critical to ongoing health care negotiations seemed to have found a good deal to their liking in the president’s speech tonight. Senator Olympia Snowe—a central focal point for the TV cameras scanning the chamber—issued a statement tonight that praised the President’s stated desire to bend the cost curve and, just as significantly, to ensure that the bill does not add to the deficit.

The Centrists’ Take on the Speech: Pretty Darn Good
September 10, 2009

The moderates and centrists critical to ongoing health care negotiations seemed to have found a good deal to their liking in the president’s speech tonight. Senator Olympia Snowe—a central focal point for the TV cameras scanning the chamber—issued a statement tonight that praised the President’s stated desire to bend the cost curve and, just as significantly, to ensure that the bill does not add to the deficit.

Cool... But, Yes, Communist
September 10, 2009

He's tall, trim, with shaved head, a confident demeanor, wearing a dark turtleneck, kind 'a funny and Yale Law School. Cool. Co-o-o-l. Or maybe even wow! He's Van Jones, and he resigned on Saturday as what the White House called its "czar" for the environment. There are actually many czars at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in this administration, and I wonder why the historical resonance of the word doesn't just give the Obama crowd the creeps. Unless, of course, they want to govern like czars ... and czarinas. To be sure, Mr.

Obama Back in Top Campaign Form
September 09, 2009

This was the best speech I've heard Barack Obama give as president--possibly the best since January of 2008. Unlike his inaugural address, or even his convention speech, this one really soared and inspired by the end--a bit counterintuitively for a health care speech.

BREAKING: The News in the Speech
September 09, 2009

Looks like there's some news in the speech after all.  Quite a bit. On the policy front, President Obama tonight endorses, clearly and unambiguously, a requirement that everybody obtain insurance--that is, an individual mandate. He has not done that before, not this explicitly. He also says employers will have to provide insurance or bear some of the costs. That's not news exactly; he's said that before.

Read the Speech Now
September 09, 2009

Excerpts of the president’s big health care speech have just been released.

People and Metro Prosperity
September 04, 2009

  This week we’ve discussed several of the key ingredients for metropolitan economic prosperity and the policy issues affecting those success factors. Yet those of us at The Avenue don’t lie awake at night worrying about metro areas as places (well, maybe we dream about our favorite coffee spot or something). The ultimate measure of metropolitan performance, after all, is the level of prosperity enjoyed by its residents.  Why is it important to examine people and families through a metropolitan lens? First, most U.S.

Mob Rule?
September 03, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Health care reform is said to be in trouble partly because of those raucous August town hall meetings in which Democratic members of Congress were besieged by shouters opposed to change. But what if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong? What if the highly publicized screamers represented only a fraction of public opinion?

The Price is Right
September 01, 2009

Fifteen years ago, when I was a relatively young freelance writer with no health insurance (one of “the immortals,” as this group is sardonically referred to by medical professionals), I was being bothered by an ankle injury I’d suffered several years earlier. I made an appointment with a local orthopedist specializing in foot and ankle problems, hoping for some simple advice on how to make it hurt less. After filling out a form indicating I had no insurance, I handed it to the receptionist and asked her what the visit would cost. She said she didn’t know. I saw the doctor anyway.

Who Knew? Mickey Did.
August 28, 2009

My friend Mickey Kaus has a rejoinder to my latest column, in which I suggest that the emphasis on cost-cutting--while most likely a strategic mistake--was nevertheless easy to understand in retrospect. Among other things, he suggests, some people did predict this. Like, for example, Mickey. Well, he's absolutely right about that. He was a critic of this argument as far back as April: Isn't it an epic mistake to try to sell Democratic health care reform on this basis?

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